God raised up certain "prophets" who were His mouthpieces.
They would speak out against their sin and idolatry and would
continually warn of God's judgment. Some of the prophets spoke
out in the North and some in the South, but God was faithfully
warning them of certain catastrophe if they would not turn to
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The prophet Jeremiah prophesied to the Jews in Jerusalem and
Judah about 50 years before Jerusalem would fall and be
destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Jeremiah continually
preached against the folly of idolatry and pleaded with the
people the Word of God, "what injustice have you found in
me?" he cried, why have you gone far from me and followed
idols, and have become idolaters?, I brought you into a
beautiful country to eat of its fruit and its goodness, but
you have defiled my land and made my heritage and
abomination. Jeremiah warned that Jerusalem would be
destroyed and the Jews would be taken away as captives to
the land of Babylon. The words of Jeremiah were violently
rejected and he was continually persecuted, but God warned
them at the beginning of his ministry not to be afraid of
their faces. While Jeremiah was in prison grieving over the
sins of his people the Lord came to him and said "behold,
the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new
covenant" (Jeremiah 31). Soon afterwards Jerusalem was
indeed destroyed in 586 BC as Jeremiah prophesied. But he
claimed that their captivity would only last 70 years and
then they would return to their land. Jeremiah also
prophesied against the pagan nations around Israel. Later he
was forced to go and live in the land of Egypt and there is
no record of what happened to him.
Date - 629 BC Approximately. The prophet Jeremiah began his
ministry during the reign of King Josiah, and he prophesied
the Word of the Lord until the destruction of Jerusalem in 586
BC when Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came and destroyed the city
and her Temple (Jeremiah 1), and he continued to prophesy even
after this event.
Author - Jeremiah (According to the Bible and Jewish
Tradition). The book of Jeremiah is recognized as his own
writings and a complete book just like the book of Isaiah. In
Jeremiah 36:1-2, 4, 8, 32 it is written that Jeremiah
collected his own writings and prophecies, some speculate that
he put the book together with Baruch in the land of Egypt but
there is no way to know for certain.
The prophet Jeremiah began his ministry during the reign of
King Josiah, and he prophesied the Word of the Lord until
the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC when Nebuchadnezzar
of Babylon came and destroyed the city and her Temple
(Jeremiah 1), and he continued to prophesy even after this
event. Jeremiah began ministering in 627 BC during the reign
of King Josiah, he was the "son of Hilkiah, of the priests
that were in Anathoth" which was a city near Jerusalem. When
the Lord called him he was very young (Jeremiah 1:6), and
the Lord revealed to him that his word would be rejected and
yet he was not to be afraid of their faces. They also
learned that an enemy from the North would come and bring
about the destruction of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 1:11-16), and
this time it would not be the Assyrians as with the northern
kingdom of Israel, but it would be the Babylonians. All the
kings who reigned during the time of Jeremiah were: Josiah,
Jehoa-haz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah and Jerusalem
was destroyed in the 11th year of the reign of king Zedekiah
in 586 BC. The event of the burning of the city of Jerusalem
and of the Temple of Solomon is found in 2 Kings 25:8,9 and
Jeremiah was quick to obey God and to reveal to the children
of Israel in Judah their sins, and as God had warned him he
was hated with much hostility both in his hometown of
Anathoth and in Jerusalem (Jeremiah 11:18-23). It even
indicates that his own family "dealt treacherously" with him
(Jeremiah 12:6), but this was a calm before the storm for
Jeremiah who was known as the weeping prophet. Because of
his fearless prophesying during the reigns of the next four
kings of Judah, and the fact that he predicted the
destruction of Jerusalem because of the people's sins he was
hated all the more. He went into hiding because of the wrath
of Jehoiakim who had cut up his book of prophecies and
burned them. Judah finally went into a first wave of
captivity by the Babylonians under Jehoiachin, and they
placed Zedekiah in his stead as a puppet king. Eventually
Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon but was warned
by Jeremiah not to do so (Jeremiah 27:12). Finally the
inevitable happened, on the terrifying day of Av 9 in the
Jewish calendar Nebuchadnezzar's forces destroyedthe Temple
of Solomon and the city of Jerusalem making true all of
Jeremiah's prophecies about the Babylonian invasion.
Jeremiah stayed in Jerusalem but finally was forced to go to
Egypt and his companion and secretary, Baruch came with him.
They are in Egypt, in the city of Tahpanhes we have the last
mention of Jeremiah's life, and after this there is no
information and nothing is certain. His book was completed
and he lived a very long life. According to Christian
tradition the Jews at Tahpanhes, hating him for his
prophecies stoned him to death. There is also a Jewish
tradition that when Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Egypt,
Jeremiah and Baruch had escaped to the land of Judea where
they were allowed to die in peace.
1) The impending destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon;
2) the possibility of averting this destruction by repentance;
3) the submitting to Babylonian rule after it becomes apparent
that domination is inevitable;
4) Babylon herself will be destroyed, never to rise again; and
5) Judah will return from captivity and eventually achieve an
Quick Overview of Jeremiah. – –1 – – the call of Jeremiah– –
1-20– –Jeremiah's prophecies against Judah under the reigns of
Josiah and Jehoiachim– – 21-39 – –Jeremiah's prophecies
against Judah until the fall of Jerusalem– – 40-45 – –
Jeremiah's prophecies after the fall of Jerusalem – – 46-51 –
– Jeremiah's prophecies against the surrounding nations – – 52
– – the historical appendix.
The Book of Jeremiah, or Jeremiah (יִרְמְיָהוּ Yirməyāhū in
Hebrew), is part of the Hebrew Bible, Judaism's Tanakh, and
later became a part of Christianity's Old Testament. It was
originally written in a complex and poetic Hebrew (apart from
verse 10:11, curiously written in Biblical Aramaic), recording
the words and events surrounding the life of the Jewish
prophet Jeremiah who lived at the time of the destruction of
Solomon's Temple (587/6 BC) in Jerusalem during the fall of
the Kingdom of Judah at the hands of Babylonia...
consists of twenty-three separate and independent sections,
arranged in five books. I. The introduction, ch. 1.
of the sins of the Jews, consisting of seven
sections, (1.) ch.
2; (2.) ch. 3-6; (3.) ch. 7-10; (4.) ch. 11-13; (5.)
14-17:18; (6.) ch. 17:19-ch. 20; (7.) ch. 21-24.
III. A general
review of all nations, in two sections, (1.) ch. 46-
49; (2.) ch.
25; with an historical appendix of three sections,
(1.) ch. 26;
(2.) ch. 27; (3.) ch. 28, 29. IV. Two sections
hopes of better times, (1.) ch. 30, 31; (2.) ch.
32,33; to which
is added an historical appendix in three sections,
34:1-7; (2.) ch. 34:8-22; (3.) ch. 35. V. The
conclusion, in two
sections, (1.) ch. 36; (2.) ch. 45.
In Egypt, after an interval, Jeremiah is supposed to
added three sections, viz., ch. 37-39; 40-43; and
The principal Messianic prophecies are found in
31:31-40; and 33:14-26.
Jeremiah's prophecies are noted for the frequent
found in them of the same words and phrases and
cover the period of about 30 years. They are not
recorded in the
order of time. When and under what circumstances
assumed its present form we know not.
The LXX. Version of this book is, in its arrangement
other particulars, singularly at variance with the
LXX. omits 10:6-8; 27:19-22; 29:16-20; 33:14-26;
3, 15, 28-30, etc. About 2,700 words in all of the
omitted. These omissions, etc., are capricious and
and render the version unreliable.
"There can be little doubt that the book of Jeremiah grew
out of the roll which Baruch wrote down at the prophet's
mouth in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. ch. Jer 36:2
Apparently the prophets kept written records of their
predictions, and collected into larger volumes such of them
as were intended for permanent use." --Canon Cook. In the
present order we have two great divisions:-- I. Chs. 1-45.
Prophecies delivered at various times, directed mainly to
Judah, or connected with Jeremiah's personal history. II.
Chs. 46-51. Prophecies connected with other nations. Looking
more closely into each of these divisions, we have the
1. Chs. 1-21, including prophecies from the
thirteenth year of Josiah to the fourth of Jehoiakim; ch.
21; belongs to the later period.
2. Chs. 22-25. Shorter prophecies, delivered at
different times, against the kings of Judah and the false
prophets. Ch. Jer 25:13,14 evidently marks the conclusion of
a series of prophecies; and that which follows, ch. Jer
25:15-38 the germ of the fuller predictions in chs. 46-49,
has been placed here as a kind of completion to the prophecy
of the seventy years and the subsequent fall of Babylon.
3. Chs. 26-28. The two great prophecies of the fall
of Jerusalem, and the history connected with them.
4. Chs. 29-31. The message of comfort for the exiles
5. Chs. 32-44. The history of the last two years
before the capture of Jerusalem, and of Jeremiah's work int
hem and in the period that followed.
6. Chs. 46-51. The prophecies against foreign
nations, ending with the great prediction against Babylon.
7. The supplementary narrative of ch. 52.
Seven other persons bearing the same name as the prophet are
mentioned in the Old Testament:--
1. Jeremiah of Libnah, father of Hamutal wife of
Josiah. 2Ki 23:31 (B.C. before 632.)
2,3,4. Three warriors --two of the tribe of Gad-- in
David's army. 1Ch 12:4,10,13 (B.C. 1061-53.)
5. One of the "mighty men of valor" of the
transjordanic half-tribe of Manasseh. 1Ch 5:24 (B.C. 782.)
6. A priest of high rank, head of the second or third
of the twenty-one courses which are apparently enumerated in
Ne 10:2-8; 12:1,12 (B.C. 446-410).
7. The father of Jazaniah the Rechabite. Jer 35:3
(B.C. before 606.)
(whom Jehovah has appointed) was "the son of Hilkiah of the
priests that were in Anathoth." Jer 1:1
1. History. --He was called very young (B.C. 626) to
the prophetic office, and prophesied forty-two years; but we
have hardly any mention of him during the eighteen years
between his call and Josiah's death, or during the short
reign of Jehoahaz. During the reigns of Jehoiakim and
Jehoiachin, B.C. 607-598, he opposed the Egyptian party,
then dominant in Jerusalem, and maintained that they only
way of safety lay in accepting the supremacy of the
Chaldeans. He was accordingly accused of treachery, and men
claiming to be prophets had the "word of Jehovah" to set
against his. Jer 14:13; 23:7 As the danger from the
Chaldeans became more threatening, the persecution against
Jeremiah grew hotter. ch. 18. The people sought his life;
then follows the scene in Jer 19:10-13 he was set, however,
"as a fenced brazen wall," ch. Jer 15:20 and went on with
his work, reproving king and nobles and people. The danger
which Jeremiah had so long foretold at last came near. First
Jehoiakim, and afterwards his successor Jehoiachin, were
carried into exile, 2Kin 24; but Zedekiah, B.C. 597-586, who
was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar, was more friendly to the
prophet, though powerless to help him. The approach of an
Egyptian army, and the consequent departure of the
Chaldeans, made the position of Jeremiah full of danger, and
he sought to effect his escape from the city; but he was
seized and finally thrown into a prison-pit to die, but was
rescued. On the return of the Chaldean army he showed his
faith in God's promises, and sought to encourage the people
by purchasing the field at Anathoth which his kinsman
Hanameel wished to get rid of. Jer 32:6-9 At last the blow
came. The city was taken, the temple burnt. The king and his
princes shared the fate of Jehoiachin. The prophet gave
utterance to his sorrow in the Lamentations. After the
capture of Jerusalem, B.C. 586, by the Chaldeans, we find
Jeremiah receiving better treatment; but after the death of
Gedaliah, the people, disregarding his warnings, took refuge
in Egypt, carrying the prophet with them. In captivity his
words were sharper and stronger than ever. He did not
shrink, even there, from speaking of the Chaldean king once
more as "the servant of Jehovah." Jer 43:10 After this all
is uncertain, but he probably died in Egypt...
1. Name and Person:
The name of one of the greatest prophets of Israel. The
Hebrew yirmeyahu, abbreviated to yirmeyah, signifies either
"Yahweh hurls" or "Yahweh founds." Septuagint reads Iermias,
and the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.)
Jeremias. As this name also occurs not infrequently, the
prophet is called "the son of Hilkiah" (Jer 1:1), who is,
however, not the high priest mentioned in 2 Ki 22 and 23, as
it is merely stated that he was "of the priests that were in
Anathoth" in the land of Benjamin In Anathoth, now Anata, a
small village 3 miles Northeast of Jerusalem, lived a class
of priests who belonged to a side line, not to the line of
Zadok (compare 1 Ki 2:26).
2. Life of Jeremiah:
Jeremiah was called by the Lord to the office of a prophet
while still a youth (1:6) about 20 years of age, in the 13th
year of King Josiah (1:2; 25:3), in the year 627 BC, and was
active in this capacity from this time on to the destruction
of Jerusalem, 586 BC, under kings Josiah, Jehoahaz,
Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. Even after the fall of
the capital city he prophesied in Egypt at least for several
years, so that his work extended over a period of about 50
years in all. At first he probably lived in Anathoth, and
put in his appearance publicly in Jerusalem only on the
occasion of the great festivals; later he lived in
Jerusalem, and was there during the terrible times of the
siege and the destruction of the city...
jer-e-mi'-a ((a) yirmeyahu, or (b) shorter form, yirmeyah,
both differently explained as "Yah establishes (so
Giesebrecht), whom Yahweh casts," i.e. possibly, as Gesenius
suggests, "appoints" (A. B. Davidson in HDB, II, 569a), and
"Yahweh looseneth" (the womb); see BDB): The form (b) is
used of Jeremiah the prophet only in Jer 27:1;
28:5,6,10,11,12b,15; 29:1; Ezr 1:1; Dan 9:2, while the other
is found 116 times in Jeremiah alone. In 1 Esdras
1:28,32,47,57; 2 Esdras 2:18, English Versions of the Bible
has "Jeremy," so the King James Version in 2 Macc 2:1,5,7;
Mt 2:17; 27:9; in Mt 16:14, the King James Version has
"Jeremias," but the Revised Version (British and American)
in 2 Maccabees and Matthew has "Jeremiah."
(1) The prophet. See special article. Of the following, (2),
(3) and (4) have form (a) above; the others the form (b).
(2) Father of Hamutal (Hamital), the mother of King Jehoahaz
and King Jehoiakim (2 Ki 23:31; 24:18 parallel Jer 52:1).
(3) A Rechabite (Jer 35:3).
(4) In 1 Ch 12:13 (Hebrew 14), a Gadite.
(5) In 1 Ch 12:10 (Hebrew 11), a Gadite.
(6) In 1 Ch 12:4 (Hebrew 5), a Benjamite(?) or Judean. (4),
(5) and (6) all joined David at Ziklag.
(7) Head of a Manassite family (1 Ch 5:24).
(8) A priest who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah (Neh
10:2), probably the same as he of 12:34 who took part in the
procession at the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem.
(9) A priest who went to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel from
exile and became head of a priestly family of that name (Neh
David Francis Roberts
In manuscripts Vaticanus and Alexandrinus the title is
simply "An Epistle of Jeremiah." But in Codex Vaticanus,
etc., there is a superscription introducing the letter:
"Copy of a letter which Jeremiah sent to the captives about
to be led to Babylon by (Peshitta adds Nebuchadnezzar) the
king of the Babylonians, to make known to them what had been
commanded him by God." What follows is a satirical exposure
of the folly of idolatry, and not a letter. The idea of
introducing this as a letter from Jeremiah was probably
suggested by Jer 29:1 ff.
2. Canonicity and Position:
The early Greek Fathers were on the whole favorably disposed
toward this tract, reckoning it to be a part of the Canon.
It is therefore included in the lists of Canonical writings
of Origen, Epiphanius, Cyril of Jerusalem and Athanasius,
and it was so authoritatively recognized by the Council of
Laodicea (360 AD).
In most Greek manuscripts of the Septuagint (Codices
Alexandrinus and Vaticanus. March, Chisl, in the Syriac
Hexateuch), it follows Lamentations as an independent piece,
closing the supposed writings of Jeremiah. In the bestknown
printed of the Septuagint (Tischendorf, Swete, etc.), the
order is Jeremiah, Baruch, Lain, Epistle of Jeremy. In
Fritzsche, Lib. Apocrypha VT Graece, Epistle Jeremiah stands
between Baruch and Tobit. But in Latin manuscripts,
including those of the Vulgate, it is appended to Baruch, of
which it forms chapter 6, though it really has nothing to do
with that book. This last is the case with Protestant
editions (English versions of the Bible, etc.) of the
Apocrypha, a more intelligible arrangement, since Jeremiah
and Lamentations do not occur in the Apocrypha, and the
Biblical Baruch was Jeremiah's amanuensis.
In the so-called letter (see 1, above) the author shows the
absurdity and wickedness of heathen worship. The Jews, for
their sins, will be removed to Babylon, where they will
remain 7 generations. In that land they will be tempted to
worship the gods o f the people. The writer's aim is
ostensibly to warn them beforehand by showing how helpless
and useless the idols worshipped are, and how immoral as
well as silly the rites of the Bah religion are. For similar
polemics against idolatry, see Isa 44:9-19 (which in its
earnestness resembles the Epistle Jeremiah closely); Jer
10:3-9; Ps 115:4-8; 135:15-18; The Wisdom of Solomon 13:10-